Holiness, Worldly Separation
Most Relevant Verses
You shall not walk in the customs of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they did all these things, and therefore I was wearied and grieved by them. But I have said to you, You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am the Lord your God, Who has separated you from the peoples. You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean beast and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean; and you shall not make yourselves detestable with beast or with bird or with anything with which the ground teems or that creeps, which I have set apart from you as unclean.read more.
And you shall be holy to Me; for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
And Moses said to the Lord, If Your Presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here! For by what shall it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight? Is it not in Your going with us so that we are distinguished, I and Your people, from all the other people upon the face of the earth?
Whoever commits any of these abominations shall be cut off from among [his] people. So keep My charge: do not practice any of these abominable customs which were practiced before you and defile yourselves by them. I am the Lord your God.
When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to possess and has plucked away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, And when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you smite them, then you must utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them, or show mercy to them. You shall not make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son nor shall you take his daughter for your son,read more.
For they will turn away your sons from following Me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you and He will destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and hew down their Asherim [symbols of the goddess Asherah] and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy and set-apart people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people to Himself out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.
When you go forth against your enemies and are in camp, you shall keep yourselves from every evil thing. If there is among you any man who is not clean by reason of what happens to him at night, then he shall go outside the camp; he shall not come within the camp; But when evening comes he shall bathe himself in water, and when the sun is down he may return to the camp.read more.
You shall have a place also outside the camp to which you shall go [as a comfort station]; And you shall have a paddle or shovel among your weapons, and when you sit down outside [to relieve yourself], you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up what has come from you. For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore shall your camp be holy, that He may see nothing indecent among you and turn away from you.
Afterward, the officials came to me and said, The Israelites and the priests and Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the abominations of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For they have taken as wives some of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this wicked act and direct violation [of God's will].
Depart, depart, go out from there [the lands of exile]! Touch no unclean thing! Go out of the midst of her [Babylon]; cleanse yourselves and be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord [on your journey from there].
This is the law of the beast, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and creeps on the earth and multiplies in large numbers, To make a difference (a distinction) between the unclean and the clean, and between the animal that may be eaten and the animal that may not be eaten.
And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Say to the Israelites: These are the animals which you may eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, any of these animals you may eat.read more.
Nevertheless these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud or divide the hoof: the camel, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you. And the coney or rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not divide the hoof; it is unclean to you. And the swine, because it divides the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you. These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, these you may eat; But all that have not fins and scales in the seas and in the rivers, of all the creeping things in the waters, and of all the living creatures which are in the waters, they are [to be considered] an abomination and abhorrence to you. They shall continue to be an abomination to you; you shall not eat of their flesh, but you shall detest their carcasses. Everything in the waters that has not fins or scales shall be abhorrent and detestable to you. These you shall have in abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, for they are detestable: the eagle, the ossifrage, the ospray, The kite, the whole species of falcon, Every kind of raven, The ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, every species of hawk, The owl, the cormorant, the ibis, The swan, the pelican, the vulture, The stork, all kinds of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat. All winged insects that go upon all fours are to be an abomination to you; Yet of all winged insects that go upon all fours you may eat those which have legs above their feet with which to leap on the ground. Of these you may eat: the whole species of locust, of bald locust, of cricket, and of grasshopper. But all other winged insects which have four feet shall be detestable to you.
You shall not eat anything that is abominable [to the Lord and so forbidden by Him]. These are the beasts which you may eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, The hart, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain sheep.read more.
And every beast that parts the hoof and has it divided into two and brings up and chews the cud among the beasts you may eat. Yet these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud or have the hoof split in two: the camel, the hare, and the coney, because they chew the cud but divide not the hoof; they are unclean for you. And the swine, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud; it is unclean to you. You shall not eat of their flesh or touch their dead bodies. These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales you may eat, And whatever has not fins and scales you may not eat; it is unclean for you. Of all clean birds you may eat. But these are the ones which you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the ospray, The buzzard, the kite in its several species, The raven in all its species, The ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any variety, The little owl, the great owl, the horned owl, The pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant, The stork, the heron of any variety, the hoopoe, and the bat. And all flying insects are unclean for you; they shall not be eaten. But of all clean winged things you may eat.
And He called the people to [Him] again and said to them, Listen to Me, all of you, and understand [what I say]. There is not [even] one thing outside a man which by going into him can pollute and defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him and make him unhallowed and unclean. If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening [and let him perceive and comprehend by hearing].read more.
And when He had left the crowd and had gone into the house, His disciples began asking Him about the parable. And He said to them, Then are you also unintelligent and dull and without understanding? Do you not discern and see that whatever goes into a man from the outside cannot make him unhallowed or unclean, Since it does not reach and enter his heart but [only his] digestive tract, and so passes on [into the place designed to receive waste]? Thus He was making and declaring all foods [ceremonially] clean [that is, abolishing the ceremonial distinctions of the Levitical Law].
When a man has a swelling on his skin, a scab, or a bright spot, and it becomes the disease of leprosy in his skin, then he shall be brought to the priest, to Aaron or one of his sons. The priest shall look at the diseased spot on his skin, and if the hair in it has turned white and the disease appears depressed and deeper than his skin, it is a leprous disease; and the priest shall examine him, and pronounce him unclean.
The garment also that the disease of leprosy [symbolic of sin] is in, whether a wool or a linen garment, Whether it be in woven or knitted stuff or in the warp or woof of linen or of wool, or in a skin or anything made of skin, If the disease is greenish or reddish in the garment, or in a skin or in the warp or woof or in anything made of skin, it is the plague of leprosy; show it to the priest.
And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, When you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the disease of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession, Then he who owns the house shall come and tell the priest, It seems to me there is some sort of disease in my house.read more.
Then the priest shall command that they empty the house before [he] goes in to examine the disease, so that all that is in the house may not be declared unclean; afterward [he] shall go in to see the house.
Or if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether the carcass of an unclean wild beast or of an unclean domestic animal or of unclean creeping things that multiply prolifically, even if he is unaware of it, and he has become unclean, he is guilty. Or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever kind the uncleanness may be with which he becomes defiled, and he is unaware of it, when he does know it, then he shall be guilty.
These are unclean to you among all that creep; whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening. And upon whatever they may fall when they are dead, it shall be unclean, whether it is an article of wood or clothing or skin (bottle) or sack, any vessel in which work is done; it must be put in water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; so it shall be cleansed. And every earthen vessel into which any of these [creeping things] falls, whatever may be in it shall be unclean, and you shall break the vessel.read more.
Of all the food [in one of these unclean vessels] which may be eaten, that on which such water comes shall be unclean, and all drink that may be drunk from every such vessel shall be unclean. And everything upon which any part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether an oven, or pan with a lid, or hearth for pots, it shall be broken in pieces; they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you. Yet a spring or a cistern or reservoir of water shall be clean; but whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean. If a part of their carcass falls on seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean; But if any water be put on the seed and any part of their carcass falls on it, it shall be unclean to you. If any animal of which you may eat dies [unslaughtered], he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening. And he who eats of its carcass [ignorantly] shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening; he also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
The Lord said to Moses, Speak to the priests [exclusive of the high priest], the sons of Aaron, and say to them that none of them shall defile himself for the dead among his people [by touching a corpse or assisting in preparing it for burial],
You shall make a distinction and recognize a difference between the holy and the common or unholy, and between the unclean and the clean; And you are to teach the Israelites all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.
Shouting, Men of Israel, help! [Help!] This is the man who is teaching everybody everywhere against the people and the Law and this place! Moreover, he has also [actually] brought Greeks into the temple; he has desecrated and polluted this holy place!
We are confounded and ashamed, for we have heard reproach; confusion and shame have covered our faces, for strangers have come into the [most] sacred parts of the sanctuary of the Lord [even those forbidden for entrance by all but the high priest or the appointed priests].
The Lord said to Moses, Command the Israelites that they put outside the camp every leper and everyone who has a discharge, and whoever is defiled by [coming in contact with] the dead. Both male and female you shall put out; without the camp you shall put them, that they may not defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell.
And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, You have acted wickedly and broken faith [with God] and have married foreign (heathen) women, increasing the guilt of Israel. So now make confession and give thanks to the Lord, the God of your fathers [for not consuming you], and do His will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from [your] foreign (heathen) wives.
And the Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites, You shall eat no kind of fat, of ox, or sheep, or goat. The fat of the beast that dies of itself and the fat of one that is torn with beasts may be put to any other use, but under no circumstances are you to eat of it.read more.
For whoever eats the fat of the beast from which men offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from his people. Moreover, you shall eat no blood of any kind, whether of bird or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whoever eats any kind of blood, that person shall be cut off from his people.
And the leper's clothes shall be rent, and the hair of his head shall hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry, Unclean, unclean! He shall remain unclean as long as the disease is in him; he is unclean; he shall live alone [and] his dwelling shall be outside the camp.
And when you offer a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it and on the day following; and if anything remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire. If it is eaten at all the third day, it is loathsome; it will not be accepted.read more.
But everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, for he has profaned a holy thing of the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from his people [and not be included in the atonement made for them].
Whoever touches the corpse of any who has died and does not purify himself defiles the tabernacle of the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still upon him.
If there is among you any man who is not clean by reason of what happens to him at night, then he shall go outside the camp; he shall not come within the camp; But when evening comes he shall bathe himself in water, and when the sun is down he may return to the camp. You shall have a place also outside the camp to which you shall go [as a comfort station];read more.
And you shall have a paddle or shovel among your weapons, and when you sit down outside [to relieve yourself], you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up what has come from you. For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore shall your camp be holy, that He may see nothing indecent among you and turn away from you.
And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and, being a leper, he dwelt in a separate house, for he was excluded from the Lord's house. And Jotham his son took charge of the king's household, ruling the people of the land.
But the one who eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings that belong to the Lord when he is [ceremonially] unclean, that person shall be cut off from his people [deprived of the privileges of association with them]. And if anyone touches any unclean thing -- "the uncleanness of man or an unclean beast or any unclean abomination -- "and then eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of the Lord's peace offerings, that person shall be cut off from his people.
Tell them, Any one of your offspring throughout your generations who goes to the holy things which the Israelites dedicate to the Lord when he is unclean, that [priest] shall be cut off from My presence and excluded from the sanctuary; I am the Lord. No man of the offspring of Aaron who is a leper or has a discharge shall eat of the holy things [the offerings and the showbread] until he is clean. And whoever touches any person or thing made unclean by contact with a corpse or a man who has had a discharge of semen, Or whoever touches any dead creeping thing by which he may be made unclean, or a man from whom he may acquire uncleanness, whatever it may be,read more.
The priest who has touched any such thing shall be unclean until evening and shall not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed with water.
And the Lord said to Moses, If anyone commits a breach of faith and sins unwittingly in the holy things of the Lord, he shall bring his trespass or guilt offering to the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued by you in shekels of silver, that is, the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass or guilt offering. And he shall make restitution for what he has done amiss in the holy thing, and shall add a fifth to it, and give it to the priest; and the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass or guilt offering, and he shall be forgiven.
And the Lord said to Moses, Say to Aaron and his sons that they shall stay away from the holy things which the Israelites dedicate to Me, that they may not profane My holy name; I am the Lord.
And the Lord said to Moses, Go and sanctify the people [set them apart for God] today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes And be ready by the third day, for the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai [in the cloud] in the sight of all the people. And you shall set bounds for the people round about, saying, Take heed that you go not up into the mountain or touch the border of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.read more.
No hand shall touch it [or the offender], but he shall surely be stoned or shot [with arrows]; whether beast or man, he shall not live. When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.
You shall make for them [white] linen trunks to cover their naked flesh, reaching from the waist to the thighs. And they shall be on Aaron and his sons when they go into the Tent of Meeting or when they come near to the altar to minister in the Holy Place, lest they bring iniquity upon themselves and die; it shall be a statute forever to Aaron and to his descendants after him.
You shall also make a laver or large basin of bronze, and its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall put it [outside in the court] between the Tent of Meeting and the altar [of burnt offering], and you shall put water in it; There Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet. When they go into the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord,read more.
So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die; it shall be a perpetual statute for [Aaron] and his descendants throughout their generations.
You shall keep the Sabbath therefore, for it is holy to you; everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does work on the Sabbath shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, sacred to the Lord; whoever does work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all its furniture, as the camp sets out, after all that [is done but not before], the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them. But they shall not touch the holy things, lest they die. These are the things of the Tent of Meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry.
Any person who has violated and [thus] rejected and set at naught the Law of Moses is put to death without pity or mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse (sterner and heavier) punishment do you suppose he will be judged to deserve who has spurned and [thus] trampled underfoot the Son of God, and who has considered the covenant blood by which he was consecrated common and unhallowed, thus profaning it and insulting and outraging the [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace (the unmerited favor and blessing of God)?
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord, as He had not commanded them. And there came forth fire from before the Lord and killed them, and they died before the Lord.
Now Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men, And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the Israelites, 250 princes or leaders of the congregation called to the assembly, men well known and of distinction. And they gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, [Enough of you!] You take too much upon yourselves, seeing that all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you lift yourselves up above the assembly of the Lord?read more.
And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face. And he said to Korah and all his company, In the morning the Lord will show who are His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him; him whom He has chosen will He cause to come near to Him. Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company, And put fire in them and put incense upon them before the Lord tomorrow; and the man whom the Lord chooses shall be holy. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi.
And the Lord slew some of the men of Beth-shemesh because they had looked into the ark of the Lord; He slew seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the Lord had made a great slaughter among them. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? And to whom shall He go away from us?
And when they came to Nacon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled and shook it. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for touching the ark, and he died there by the ark of God.
Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things. They have made no distinction between the sacred and the secular, neither have they taught people the difference between the unclean and the clean and have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
But a certain man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, And with his wife's knowledge and connivance he kept back and wrongfully appropriated some of the proceeds, bringing only a part and putting it at the feet of the apostles. But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart that you should lie to and attempt to deceive the Holy Spirit, and should [in violation of your promise] withdraw secretly and appropriate to your own use part of the price from the sale of the land?read more.
As long as it remained unsold, was it not still your own? And [even] after it was sold, was not [the money] at your disposal and under your control? Why then, is it that you have proposed and purposed in your heart to do this thing? [How could you have the heart to do such a deed?] You have not [simply] lied to men [playing false and showing yourself utterly deceitful] but to God. Upon hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. And great dread and terror took possession of all who heard of it. And the young men arose and wrapped up [the body] and carried it out and buried it. Now after an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not having learned of what had happened. And Peter said to her, Tell me, did you sell the land for so much? Yes, she said, for so much. Then Peter said to her, How could you two have agreed and conspired together to try to deceive the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out [also]. And instantly she fell down at his feet and died; and the young men entering found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.
You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world's friend is being God's enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God's] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God's people; once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy. Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul.
I have given and delivered to them Your word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world [do not belong to the world], just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.
But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.
External religious worship [ religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.